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Two-year study: 42% of long-term vapers quit smoking permanently

New scientific research recently released by the University of California, San Diego, indicates that regular, long-term use of e-cigs as a smoking cessation tool is approximately 42 percent effective. Long-term use is defined as using vaping technology consistently throughout the two-year period.  Meanwhile, use of electronic cigarettes either at the beginning or the end of the study constitutes short-term use, and according to the research results, short-term users were only approximately 14 percent successful in quitting smoking.

What’s the moral of the story?  If you want to quit smoking permanently via vaping, you have to stick with it.  

The study also points out that long-term vapers made far more “attempts” to quit smoking permanently over the two-year timeframe, nearly 73 percent more.  Short-term users had an average attempt rate of about 54 percent.  To put this another way, those who use e-cigs on a regular basis also tend to slip up every now and then and smoke a conventional cigarette.  But they keep on vaping.  Meanwhile, short-term users tend to feel guilty after a relapse, toss their e-cigs, and return for another attempt perhaps months or even years later.


The study also makes the claim, “Among those making a quit attempt, use of e-cigarettes as a cessation aid surpassed that of FDA-approved pharmacotherapy.” However, the scientists fall short of providing quantifiable statistics relating to how much more effective e-cigs are as compared to “the patch,” nicotine gum, or other nicotine replacement therapies.  They also fail to inform the reader of how many of the 2028 participants were already vaping at the very beginning of the 2012 to 2014 study. 

Other interesting statistics include:

  • 96.8 percent of participants had previously tried electronic cigarettes for at least ten days in their lifetime prior to the commencement of the study.
  • 67.3 percent of long-term users claimed to use e-cigs daily for at least 30-days.
  • 32.2 percent of short-term users made the same claim.
  • Gender and education differences seem to have zero bearing on the success rates.

Just to keep things honest, the research team also posted their funding sponsors, which include the National Institutes of Health under the State and Community Tobacco Control Initiative and the National Cancer Institute.  A disclaimer is also included at the bottom of the paper:  The study sponsor had no role in study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation or writing of the report.

The study entitled Long-term e-cigarette use and smoking cessation: a longitudinal study with US population can be located online in the international peer review journal for health professionals in tobacco control.


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